1988 Chevy Camaro 88 Camaro Overheating at idle/slow speeds

Tiny
EYARMOLUK
  • MEMBER
  • 1988 CHEVROLET CAMARO
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 158,000 MILES
I have an 88 Camaro that drives great but the only thing is is that when I am driving at slow speeds below 45 mph or sitting at an idle it seems to heat up rather quickly. If I am driving around 55-65 it gets to about 240 degrees, but if I am driving highway speeds between 70-85 it never reaches above 220 degrees.

I have a few ideas of what could be wrong which are:
1. - Coolant flow problem, seems to me maybe there might be something affecting the flow of coolant.
2. - Need a new thermostat. But if I needed a whole new thermostat I imagine it would start overheating at any speed
3. - Could be a problem with the Radiator and/or radiator fan.

I should mention this usually happens when the engine warms up. If I first start driving at city speeds for the first ten minutes, the temp gauge will go up to 220 fairly fast but then it seems the coolant kicks in and drops the temperature down quite a bit, but after it does that one or two times it seems to start heating up faster and not start cooling down until I hit 55 or above.

Does anyone have any ideas?
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Thursday, August 19th, 2010 AT 4:50 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Is it consuming any coolant over time?
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Thursday, August 19th, 2010 AT 5:31 PM
Tiny
EYARMOLUK
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Yes it does. Sometimes it seems to consume more than it should. But there isn't a leak or anything. There has never been a puddle or any drips under the car.

But lately it has seemed to be consuming a bit less than what it has been.
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Thursday, August 19th, 2010 AT 5:36 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Your going to have to pressure test the cooling system to look for any small leaks but you most likely have a blown head gasket. They can do a chemical test for that.
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Thursday, August 19th, 2010 AT 5:39 PM
Tiny
EYARMOLUK
  • MEMBER
A blown head gasket? Really? I thought usually a sign of a blown head gasket was white smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe. And I have never once seen smoke come out.
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Thursday, August 19th, 2010 AT 5:46 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
That's in the really advanced, undrivable stages. Yours is likely burning some coolant and pumping some hot combustion gases into the cooling system
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Thursday, August 19th, 2010 AT 5:54 PM
Tiny
EYARMOLUK
  • MEMBER
Does a blown head also affect the acceleration performance as well? Once in a while it tends to take a little longer to get up to highway speeds and other times she literally flies.
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Thursday, August 19th, 2010 AT 6:08 PM
Tiny
EYARMOLUK
  • MEMBER
Also. With an 88 camaro it has a huge hood. There is A LOT of room to work in there and everything is easy to get to. How long do you think it would take to fix a head gasket on it?
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Thursday, August 19th, 2010 AT 6:18 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Don't get ahead of yourself. You have to get it diagnosed. I certainly can't confirm anything from here.
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Thursday, August 19th, 2010 AT 6:23 PM

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